ROBERTO Martinez has urged his players to reproduce the intensity of the performance against Tottenham when Latics travel to Stamford Bridge this Saturday.
Although Latics only drew 0-0, they barely gave Spurs a look in last time out and the Spaniard is calling for more of the same.
He believes that the partnerships he wanted to create are finally gelling and says that the squad have come so far since their 6-0 defeat at home to the champions back in August.
“The intensity we showed in our play is something we will have to replicate at Stamford Bridge,” said Martinez.
“We’re going to go there and work extremely hard and understand those three points are as important as any other we have to play for.
“There has been a big change in personnel and doing things. Having a little bit of luck helps the process.
“In our case, it has been a little bit of an unfortunate season with key injuries at key moments of the campaign; we haven’t been able to get that consistency with certain players on the pitch.
“But now there is a clear pattern of play that we have got. The energy levels are fantastic and the work ethic in training is reflected in the games.”
The Spaniard always said it would take time for his players to click and he is praying it isn’t too late, saying that he wishes there were another 30 games for the side to prove just how good they are.
“What we wanted is to try and achieve this a little bit earlier,” bemoaned Martinez.
“This season is so tight and any other season to have a point per game as an average is clearly enough to stay in the division.
“At the moment we are bottom of the league but the margins are very small and three points will take you out of the relegation zone, never mind just one position.
“I just feel that it is going to be really, really tight between now and the end of the season as we expected.”
Most pundits have Latics as favourites to take the drop, writing them off as if they were 10 points behind the pack and not just one win away.
But this adds fuel to the Latics fire, making them determined to prove everybody wrong.
“They always pick on the small club and they always expect you to go down and it is great motivation for us,” quipped Martinez.
“We’re just concentrating on what we do on the pitch and how well you can perform and you can take that out of the last seven performances.”
Skipper Gary Caldwell has visited an emergency dentist this week following a collision with Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko.
The Scot was left with significant damage to his teeth after the incident.
Martinez has slammed the Russian forward for the action, saying he was simply frustrated at being kept under control.
“It was a very nasty elbow,” he said. “It was unfortunate that the referee didn’t see and it was an action that you don’t want to see on the football pitch.
“His teeth are out of position. The dentist will have to do some work. It was a little reflection of the game. There was frustration rom the opposition
“Gary is a great example for everyone, he has been fantastic since he arrived at our football club.”